Until Next Year!

DSC_0001-2

“Time will pass and seasons will come and go.” – Roy Bean

The end of the fishing season on the rivers here in Missouri for me has come to the end of the season.  On sunny days I will still float the river but fishing will have to wait until spring.

I know you all are probably getting tired of hearing my fishing stories so I will keep today’s blog short.  I put in the river at 8:30 a.m. and the temperature was 30 degrees. The “weather guessers” were calling for a high of 60.  The fourth cast of the day I caught a largemouth bass.  It appeared the fishing would be good toaday.  So I thought.

DSC_0009-3

The wind was a force I really didn’t want to deal with.  At one point I was going through a shallow, swift area of the river when a wind gust hit me head on and actually pushed me and the yak back up river against the current.  It made it pretty difficult to fish.

DSC_0010-2

That morning I caught 2 large mouth bass and one smallmouth bass.  Oh well a bad day on the river is better than a good day at work.  After lunch it didn’t get any better.  I caught 1 smallmouth and 2 perch and that was it.  It wasn’t the way I wanted to end the fishing season but next season will be here before we know it.

DSC_0015-2

It was a good year.  The Big River really is becoming a trophy smallmouth bass area.  The largest one I caught, actually put in the boat, was 16 inches.  Here in Missouri it takes approximately 7 to 9 years for them to grow to 15 inches.  I also caught a 19 inch largemouth and an 8 pound channel cat.

DSC_0014-3 (2)

I want to thank my high school friends David Tripp and Mark Nelson for taking time out of their busy schedules and doing some fishing with me.  I had a good time and hope you two did also.

DSC_0019

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  It is very much appreciated.  I hope you enjoyed the photos.  Photography is one of my passions.  Remember to spread the love, be kind to each other and above all, respect each other.

DSC_0021

All the photos were taken on the Big River near Desloge, MO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Lazy Day on the River

 

DSC_0050

Big River near Fletcher, MO.

“There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship” – Thomas Aquinas

On October 9, my long time friend Mark and I finally got together for a float on the Big River.  We have been trying to get together for a float for 3 months now.  It was well worth the wait.  The temps were in the upper 70s, and the water was clear.  It was overcast with the sun popping out from time to time.   All in all it was setting up to be a great day.

DSC_0037

Big River near Fletcher, MO.

I brought along 3 poles and Mark had brought only one.  I use ultra-lights with 4 pound test line.  We launched our yaks at Mammoth access and planned to float to Merrill Horse access.  I believe it is a little over 5 miles.

The leaves on the trees were starting to change colors but unfortunately their colors hadn’t matured yet.  It was quite breezy however we were able to handle it. The river was low but we never had to get out and pull our yaks across shallow places.

 

“Rivers run through our history and folklore, and link us as a people.  They nourish and refresh us and provide a home for dazzling varieties of fish and wildlife and trees and plants of every sort.  We are a nation rich in rivers.” – Charles Kuralt

big smallie

I caught this nice 15 1/2 inch smallmouth.

The fish bit real well for a while and then they shut down.  While they were biting they weren’t picky.  We caught them on a Rebel Wee-Craw and Floating Minnow, Pig and Jig, and Plastic Worms (two different colors).  We caught perch,  largemouth and smallmouth.  The length limit of smallmouth in Missouri (on the Big River) is 15 inches.  I choose not to keep smallmouth because it takes one 6 to 7 years to reach 15 inches.

DSC_0040

Big River

“The River…It’s my world, and I don’t want any other.  What it hasn’t got is not worth having, and what it doesn’t know is not worth knowing.  Lord! the times we have had together!” Kenneth Grahame

Everything was going smoothly and then it happened.  My paddle broke and we still had some swift places to get through and without the proper paddle they would have been difficult to navigate.  This is why one should always carry a knife with them.

Well I think Mark and I would be classified as country boys and maybe a hillbilly tag on myself.  So we went to work and fixed the paddle good enough to get me back to the boat ramp.  McGyver would have been proud of us.

 

43487603_10155941658823041_8726308990583046144_n

Paddle Repair 101

It was a good day.  I always enjoy my time on the river and it is nice when a friend goes a long to enjoy it with you.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Be kind to one another and spread the love.

Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, MO

DSC_0014

On March 4, 1826, Major General Jacob J. Brown, Commanding General of the Army, issued Special Order No. 13 which he instructed Bvt. General Henry Atkinson, Commanding Officer of the 6th Infantry Regiment , and Bvt. Major General Edmund P. Gaines, Commander of the Western Department of the Army,”…to select some position near the mouth of Missouri River [net exceeding a range of 20 miles] which in their judgement may be deamed [sic] the best for the establishment of an infantry school of instruction.”That was the inception of Jefferson Barracks Military Post.  It was an important and active U.S. Army installation from 1826 through 1946.  It is the oldest operating U.S. Military installation west of the Mississippi River.  It is presently used as a base for the Army and Air National Guard.The first conflict that the soldiers of Jefferson Barracks were involved in happened in 1832 and it was known as the Black Hawk War.  During the Civil War it was used as a military hospital for both sides as well as a recruitment center for the north.  By the end of the war they had treated well over 18,000 soldiers.The Jefferson Barracks Military Post Cemetery was established in 1826.  The first known burial was Elizabeth Ann Lash, the infant child of an officer stationed there.  In 1866 it became a United States National Cemetery.DSC_0007July 31,2018, my daughter in law, grandson and myself visited the Missouri Civil War Museum located in Jefferson Barracks located in the old Jefferson Barracks 1905 Post Exchange Building.  Since its opening in June 2013, it has become one of the largest Civil War Museums in the U.S.  Its focus is entirely on Missouri’s role in the American Civil War.45.The 22,000 square foot museum is filled with over one thousand artifacts and several films are available for your viewing.  Each gallery and exhibit tells a story of Missouri in the American Civil War, from guerrillas and jayhawkers to life on the home front.  There are also galleries on Jefferson Barracks history and the post-war era.6312Pics above are of some of the displays located inside the museum.Personally I think the museum is well worth the visit.  Inside the gift shop is a fine collection of books written about the civil war along with souvenirs.My hat is off to the Missouri Civil War Museum group that was formed in 2002.  They managed to raise 1.7 million dollars for the restoration of the building.  When you see the before and after pics you will see what an enormous undertaking it was to restore the building.  A big thank you to everyone that made this museum possible.The museum is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  You can find out more at mcwm.org.

DSC_0004

My daughter in law who really enjoyed the museum.

Happy Fourth of July

 

purple red white and orange fireworks display

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Liberty: the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.

On July 2, 1776, the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence.  For the next two days congress focused on the writing of the Declaration of Independence.  On July 4, 1776 it was approved and there have been celebrations ever since.

On this day I would like to share with you some of my favorite quotes that pertain to this day.  It is a day that should never be taken too lightly.  Just like life it can be gone in a blink of an eye.  Protect your rights.

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited.  There’s a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: as government expands, liberty contracts.” – Ronald Reagan

I really feel in today’s society people have a tough time wrapping their minds around the meaning of what our former POTUS was saying.

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.” – Benjamin Franklin

This my friends is why it is so important to protect the “freedom of speech”.  Benjamin Franklin had enough insight to understand this.

administration american flag country daylight

Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

A perfect example of this, in my opinion anyway, is the TSA.  Our government has made it a nightmare to travel by air.

“When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty.” John Basil Barnhill

Pretty much self explanatory.

sky lights night new year s eve

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“Those who nourish the hope that it will be possible to keep central +government free of the corrupting tendencies of power and to staff it with a freedom loving elite, overestimate the virtues of both the  electorate and the elected, and underestimate the normative power of structural processes even over well-intended functionaries.” – Robert Neff

All too obvious in our political system.

Happy Fourth of July to everyone out there.  I didn’t mean to put such a downer on today’s holiday.  As you celebrate today remind yourself it is about much more than fireworks.  We lose more of our freedoms every year.  It is time to stop the bleeding.  I leave you with some lyrics from Janis Joplin, Me and Bobby McGee.  “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.  Nothin’ don’t mean nothin’ hon’ if it ain’t free…..”

I hope you enjoyed my post today.  Thank you for taking the time to read it.  Spread the love!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Much Needed Night on the River

 

A1

Smallmouth Bass caught on the Big River. (13 and 3/4 inches long.)

Finally on June 23, I was finally able to feed my addiction, I spent the night on Big River near Leadwood, Mo.  They were calling for rain both days however I only got sprinkled on a couple of times.  To top things off the night sky was sporting an almost full moon.

My adventure started around 5 p.m. Saturday afternoon.  I put the yak in the water and headed up river.  I fished as I went along, looking for places to set my limb lines and a place to set up camp.  I had opted not to take a tent and was looking for a place sheltered from the west in case a storm blew up.  I finally found a perfect gravel bar that had a 10 foot bank sheltering me from the west winds so I continued up river so that I could let the current bring me back down the river.  That would make it easier to fish that stretch of the river.

As I fished my way back to the camp site it started out a little disheartening.  Fish didn’t seem interested in anything I had to offer.  Then I caught a rock bass and even though it wasn’t very big it was a start.  I ended up catching several panfish and 8 smallmouth bass under 8 inches.  Then I hooked something of size and the fight was on.  When using an ultralight with 4 pound test line you can’t rush things.  I had no idea what it was then it came straight up out of the water and did a tail walk.  It was a largemouth bass.  We went back and forth for around 10 minutes and then it did its fifth tail walk, gave me a big grin and spit the lure out of his mouth and I am pretty sure he was laughing at me as he hit the water and disappeared.  Damn the luck.

 

I made it back to the camp site, unloaded the yak and got a fire going.  Now f you have never started a fire with wet wood you probably have no idea how frustrating that can be.  With no fish, Vienna Sausages were on the menu.  I had 7 limb lines out so I rigged up a line to fish tight line from the bank, baited with nightcrawlers. I ran my lines at 11 p.m. and all the bait was gone and no fish.

I ran the lines again and still no fish so I went back to camp.  Around 15 minutes after I got in camp I heard a growl come from up on the bank.  Now there are many different kinds of growls.  There is the I don’t like you growl, stay away growl and the I am going to scare this old man.  This growl wasn’t any of those.  It was more a kick arse and take names kind of growl.  I slipped over and got my 45 out of the water tight box and stood real still.  After around 5 minutes, but it seemed like 5 hours, it moved on.  I let out a sigh of relief and went back to fishing.

Around 3 a.m. I heard something making a racket in the direction of one of my limb lines so I shove off and head in that direction.  I shine the limb that my line is tied too and the limb is shaking up and down and going in all directions.  I ease up and grab the line and start pulling it in and on the either is a huge snapping turtle.  It decides it wants to come aboard my yak and the fight is on.  Only problem was I didn’t have room for a 30 pound snapper.  I finally got him loose and headed back to camp.

As the darkness started retreating and the light started to flood the morning sky I heated up some water to pour into my MRE and made some coffee.  Around 5:30 a.m. I began breaking camp and loaded the yak and headed back up the river for some fishing action.  At 9:30 I heard the awfullest racket coming  from downstream around a bend in the river.  Finally I see several cows making their way up the river crossing the river and heading up the hill on the other side.

DSC_0007

 

That was pretty much my weekend in a nutshell and what an enjoyable night it was.  I needed to recharge my spirit and the adventure in nature was what I needed.  I can’t wait to see what the next river adventure brings.

Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did my river adventure.  Stay safe and spread the love.

 

Duality

Victoria Ray

Duality is found everywhere in nature. We usually call it ‘yin’ and ‘yang’.
Yang is the energising, activating and motivating principle of life. Yin is the nourishing and building principle of life.

Here some examples: 

  • driving the car, playing sports, multitasking, drinking coffee, eating spicy, making deals/business is yang activities. It is also hot, bright, fast, dry, aggressive, male, daytime, sun. 
  • sleeping, mediating, getting massage, eating oatmeal is yin activities. As well as it is cool, dark, slow, soft, stable, moist, female, night, moon. 

So if we’ll look at our hormones in the body, we’ll see that stress hormones are yang and sex hormones are yin. They are also harmoniously balanced and complement each other perfectly, because they are actually aspects of the One. 

makyaj-sanati-11If you remember I’ve told you before that every human being has a life force or energy (you can call it Soul…

View original post 384 more words

My Thoughts on Fishing

IMG_0170

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” – Henry David Thoreau

I have been fishing for a lot of years.  I had the big bass boat with the big gas guzzling motor on it.  I fished bass tournaments, mostly held on lakes.  Then one day I was diagnosed with melanoma and had to have it cut off.  They didn’t get all of the cancer cells so they cut some more and this time got it all.

Growing up we always fished the rivers.  So I decided to sell the bass boat and head back to the river where I had learned to fish and I have no regrets.  I bought a kayak and started fishing with ultra-light gear.  I prefer a spinning reel loaded with 4 pound test line.  I like a medium action rod.  If you catch an eight ounce fish on this rig it feels like it weighs five pounds.  I have a lot of fun with this set up on the rivers.

IMG_0174

Two of my favorite crankbaits, Wee Craws by Rebel.

“Fishing provides that connection with the whole living world.  It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way.  A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self.” – Ted Hughes

My favorite way of fishing is with a fly rod and reel. set up.  Personally I have a difficult time trying to cast from the kayak.

IMG_0173

Minnow and shad look- a-likes that I love to use on the river.

There are all kinds of different artificial baits one can pick from.  There are soft baits, jigs, crank baits, spinner baits, top water lures, just to name a few.  For those of you who would prefer using real bait there are worms, crawdads, minnows and crickets.

Here in Missouri I would say the 4 most sought after fish are large mouth bass, small mouth bass, crappie and the catfish.  In Missouri we are blessed with some great places to fish.  I fish the Big River and the Missouri Department of Conservation has designated several miles of the upper part as a Small Mouth Trophy area.

 

14202580_10153954221183041_9095298953499340035_n

Large mouth bass

 

14203315_10153963553328041_5930352016865734789_n

small mouth bass

 

“There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.” – Steven Wright

I hope this post helped inspire some of you to pick up some fishing equipment and head out to the river or lake.  It was short so feel free to ask me any question you might have.

I hope you enjoyed my post and thank you for taking the time to read it.  Remember to share the love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equine Laminitis

 

f4_LI

Rotated coffin bone.

 

g1_LI

No rotation.

 

Somewhere in time’s own space there must be some sweet pastured place

where creeks sing on and tall trees grow, some paradise where horses go.

For by the love that guides my pen, I know great horses live again.

Stanley Harrison

Well it is that time of year when the pastures start to green up and the sugars come to the top.  Some horses can’t handle this sudden onslaught of sugar and the result is laminitis.

Laminitis is inflammation of the laminae of the foot – the soft tissue structures that attach the coffin bone of the hoof to the hoof wall.  The inflammation and damage to the laminae causes extreme pain and leads to instability of the coffin bone.  When the coffin bone rotates it becomes founder.  The only sure way to know if the bone has rotated or become founder is by taking a set of x-rays.  Unfortunately the term “founder” is used loosely and what is just a case of laminitis is labeled founder.  You cannot have founder without laminitis but you can have laminitis without founder.

A good owner, veterinarian and farrier team can do a lot to help these horses if caught early enough.  In severe cases they can have a bad ending though where the coffin bone drops through the bottom of the foot.  It is usually in the front feet, all four feet can be affected.

Symptoms

  • Reluctant to move and they rock back on the hind quarters.
  • They will lie down a lot.
  • It will be hard for you to pick the leg up because of the pain  in the opposite limb
  • The hoof wall and coronary band are often warm to the touch.
  • A hoof tester will reveal pain  particularly when applied over the toe area.
  • The horse will have a strong, rapid digital pulse.

Laminitis can be caused by insulin resistance as well as retained placenta, overfeeding grain, septicaemic  conditions, obesity, and lameness which prevents weight bearing on one of the legs.

I recommend taking the horse off grain and put on dry lot until you are able to get a vet out to evaluate the situation.  The vet will figure out what has caused the laminitic episode and then devise a plan to get the horse on the road to recovery.  He/she will take x-rays and if there is any rotation they will get together with the farrier and decide what kind of a shoe package they want to use.  Steward clogs and heart bars are a common prescription.  I use a Myron Mclane pad and a bar shoe.

I have been lucky enough to work with Dr. Don Walsh founder of the Animal Health Foundation.  The AHF is dedicated to supporting research and education about the disease of equine laminitis.  Checkout their web page at http://www.ahf-laminitis.org.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.  I appreciate it.  I just did the highlights about laminitis/founder.  I hope you enjoyed it and it was helpful.  Remember to spread the love.

 

 

 

Nature: The Healer

 

DSC_0108

Big River

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John Burroughs

I have always been drawn to nature ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper.  I have always had the opportunity to get lost in the allure of nature and fill my mind and spirit with its serenity.  I am truly blessed.

I truly wish that everyone could have a chance to immerse themselves in nature for one week.  No outside interferences and primitive camping only.  I really think it would change peoples lives.  Nature has a way of taking all the negativity you have accumulated and shed it from your inner being.  If you decide you want to do this sometime, I have put together a little something I hope will make it a pleasurable experience for you.

A Guide To Help You Find Yourself

You need a place to camp.  I recommend using state campgrounds in conservation areas.  They usually have walking trails.  Some have creeks, rivers and lakes in them which add to your “things to do list”.  Fishing, kayaking and canoeing become available for you to use.  They make it easy to get lost in nature.

If you are serious about finding yourself, I recommend primitive camping because, in a way it brings us back to the ways of our ancestors.  No electric.  No running water. No TV!  Wow, I heard a lot of moans then.  It really is a humbling experience.  It will make you appreciate a lot of things in your life.  Go by yourself.  Make sure you practice meditation during your time in nature.  It is the perfect venue to use mediation for cleansing your soul, mind and spirit.  A good book doesn’t hurt either.  Now I am not talking A Thousand Shades of Purple or Yearnings of a Desperate Housewife/Husband.  Maybe a self-help book, philosophical, spiritual and thought provoking.

DSC_0276

Camp on 12/16/2017

 

DSC_0294

Camp 12/16/2017

Cook your own meals.  If you don’t like cooking there are some really delicious MREs on the market.  The object of this week long camping trip is to be able to live within your own little world for the whole week so that you won’t be distracted by outside influences or ideas.  This time is to be used for you to find yourself.  Tame your demons and deal with the skeletons in your closet that seem to be holding you back to achieve your dreams.  A good time to evaluate yourself and where you are at in your life.

“Walk in nature and feel the healing power of trees.” Anthony William

 

sr3

Sunrise

Get up before dawn and sit in solitude and watch the sunrise and the beginning of a new day.  Listen carefully as the wildlife begins their day.  Get lost in the sun as it rises in the east and let your imagination run wild.  Track your thoughts and feelings in your journal so that you will have it to remind you of that morning when you are back at the daily grind.

 

121

Sunset

Then an hour before sunset make your way to some place you can watch the sunset as  your day comes to an end.  In the solitude absorb all the things that happened that day.  Be sure to add them to your journal.  As the sun slips into the west listen to all the new sounds of the forest as the fingers of daylight recede and succumb to the darkness.  Hear the coyote howling in the distance as the symphony of crickets began their night of music.  Relax and enjoy and clear your mind.  Let the serenity of the night lull you into a peacefulness that is hard to explain.  Once you feel it you will never think the same.

In closing I would like to say I am a realist and know that not everyone would be comfortable in this setting.  If you like the idea and never experienced it please by all means go for it.  You won’t be sorry and you will be a new person.  You will appreciate more in life and you will like yourself better.

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.” – Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Thanks for reading.  If you have never done this and do take up the adventure please let me know what you thought about indulging in such an undertaking.  Don’t forget to spread the love.